We killed Bin Laden so the jihad is over, right?
(The Hill) — Nearly three dozen House Democrats are calling on Republicans to withdraw a section of the 2012 defense authorization bill that they say would effectively declare a state of permanent war against unnamed Taliban and al Qaeda operatives.
A Tuesday letter from House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) and 32 other Democrats argues that affirming continued war against terrorist forces goes too far, giving too much authority to the president without debate in Congress.
Their letter cites language in the authorization bill that incorporates the Detainee Security Act, which affirms continued armed conflict against terrorists overseas.
“By declaring a global war against nameless individuals, organizations and nations ‘associated’ with the Taliban and al Qaeda, as well as those playing a supporting role in their efforts, the Detainee Security Act would appear to grant the president near unfettered authority to initiate military action around the world without further congressional approval,” Democrats wrote. “Such authority must not be ceded to the president without careful deliberation from Congress.”
The specific language in the bill is found in section 1034 of H.R. 1540, which affirms that the U.S. is “engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated forces.” It also affirms that the president has the authority to detain “certain belligerents” until the armed conflict is over.